Saturday is last Farmer’s Market for the season

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This Saturday will be the last Farmer’s Market of the year at The Farm.

With temperatures expected to soar into the triple digits, Tina McKissack, Farmer’s Market chairman, says beat the heat and come early.
“Come early to insure you get those vegetables,” she said. “This will be the last chance to get those fresh vegetables for the summer.”

The Farm’s vegetable table will be back this weekend, McKissack says. They haven’t had their table the last couple of weekends, but the table will feature a variety of vegetables for those last minute shoppers to get fresh vegetables. Most of the vendors who have participated all summer should be on hand as well, she says.

“It should be a nice market,” she said. “It’s been a good season. We’ve had plenty of vendors and plenty of vegetables. It’s the best year we’ve had in a long time.”

Vendors will include Ms. Mona Kay’s jams and jellies, Ben Branch and his farm fresh eggs, Ms. Thelma with her mayhaw jelly, plenty of veggies and plenty of bows for the little girls starting school. Don’t forget the handmade crafts that will be on sale, including homemade soaps.

On this final day, a special demonstration will take place at 10 a.m. Julie Alexander, a member of the Piney Hills Louisiana Master Gardeners, will present a free workshop, “Lasagna Gardening: Layering up for Your Fall Garden.” She will focus on the lasagna garden method, also known as “sheet mulching.”

“This method of building raised garden beds does not require digging or tilling,” Alexander said, “so it is convenient for those who have poor existing soil, abundant weeds or insufficient drainage in their garden areas. By layering compostable materials in a specific order and ratio, a lasagna garden naturally composts itself into rich garden soil over time.”

As an added advantage, she says, a lasagna garden bed is easy to construct using existing materials most people already have in their homes and yards, like leaves, kitchen scraps, grass clippings, old newspaper or shredded paper, and it can be planted immediately after it is built.
She says the summer season is the best time to begin gathering materials for this type of garden.

“Lasagna beds are best begun in the fall months, where they have time to break down through the winter and provide nutrients to cool-season crops,” she said.

The workshop will take approximately 20 minutes, and guests to The Farm can enjoy the final weekend of the Farmer’s Market. Handouts with instructions and lasagna gardening references will be provided to workshop attendees.

Cultural Crossroads executive director Chris Broussard says it takes community support for smaller markets like this one to survive.

“This community service supported by Cultural Crossroads costs us a couple thousand dollars in overhead and insurance,” she said. “Our dedicated board of directors serve as the volunteer work force. We seem to be successful until the larger markets in Shreveport and Benton open and our number of vendors and patrons decline.”

She says they are looking hard at whether to do the market again, but feels The Farm is the perfect venue for such an event.

“Our hats off to our dedicated volunteer market manager, Tina McKissack,” she said. “No one has tried harder to make this happen. We also thank our corporate sponsor this year, the Minden Press-Herald. You all have certainly been there for us. We thank our vendors and patrons…and we’ve had some good ones.”

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